The application of selection aimed at conformation has always proved very successful in Belgium. This has led our breeders to create the Belgian Horse, Pietrain pig, the Belgian Landrace pig and of course, the Belgian Blue beef. We have reached a level where we need to maintain the conformation because this is the strength of our breed compared to other meat breeds where importance is given to other criteria: rusticity, stature, legwork....
In addition to the familiar method, which exists to select breeding animals based on their lineage and their ranking in official price camps, a broad program was developed for testing the bulls intended for KI.
The bulls obtained by the rearing test , are the result of deliberate pairings between bulls of 1st category (K.I. or private), also called "bull sire" and cows specially selected on the basis of their linear rating to serve as "bull dam".
The offspring of AI bulls, which are born at the different breeders, are assessed several times. Based on these assessments, semi-annual indices for the KI bulls are calculated. The first assessment is at birth and a second time at 14 months of age.
The information collected covers the following zootechnical and functional traits:
→ First visit (birth): pregnancy time, birth weight, conformation, possible deficiency of the muzzle and legwork, mortality, vitality....
→ Second visit (14 months): weight, stature, economic value, possible lack of muzzle or legwork, mortality.
The data are published in the form of indexes. Furthermore, cattle may be entered in the herd book subject to the approval of the inspector.